A Trek, Rom Dancing, Small Nambas, and a Rubbish Fire

The Adventures of the Good Ship Equinox
Cate and Chris Galloway
Wed 31 Aug 2011 08:08
Hi All,
A pretty full on and rewarding day at Ambrym Island - The trek up to the village to see the Rom dancing was about an hour alonga formed road through several other villages. Even though the locals here see plenty of yachts every year, they are really welcoming and friendly. To see a group of 25 whiteys wandring through your village is probably a bit unusual, but the response was really positive and we shook so many hands on the road iit was really surprising.
The Rom dancing is a celebration in preparation for the coming yam harvest and is steeped in kustom and tradition. After we had our picnic lunch, we walked for about 15 minutes into the bush and came pon a stage area adorned with carved drums called Tam Tams, and with seating made out of the timber from the bush. The dancers (all male) wore two types of traditional dress. The most impressive was the impressive traditional headdress with bark and leaf cloaks, but the most intriguing was the "small namba", which is a belt adorned with a penis gourd - and nothing else. I'm not so sure of the ergonomics of it (things left hanging and all), but after an hour of dancing  we thought that overall it was the best cultural event we have seen in Vanuatu.
After we walked back down the track, we hopped onto "Bluegalss" and sailed the half hour or so back to the anchorage. We then had a quick break before we popped ashore for a rubbish fire on the beach (with a couple of sundowners) to clear all of our burnables. It is again interesting to see how few of the fleet actively manage their refuse by separating out their stuff into burables, biodegradables, steel and glass. We ended up being left with a stack of tin cans which others had left in their rubbish for someone else to deal with - a bt disappointing as Silver Fox did the right thing and took them to ditch at sea at some later stage.
Otherwise, all is well here at Ranom. Our next project is to find somewhere to stop for a few days to get some school done. Will let you know how it goes, TTFN